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May 13, 2015

Fitness, maternity leave all part of U.S. Navy personnel changes

ANNAPOLIS (Reuters) – U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on
Wednesday announced a doubling of paid maternity leave and other
sweeping changes aimed at creating a more flexible and healthy
work environment, and convincing more women to stay in the Navy
longer.

“The goal is to have a far more flexible career path (and)
to be more family-friendly,” Mabus told reporters after a speech
outlining the initiative at the U.S. Naval Academy.

May 13, 2015

McCain rejects Pentagon push for more Russian rocket engines

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Armed Services
Committee Chairman John McCain on Wednesday rejected a request
by U.S. officials for changes in federal law to let the two
largest U.S. arms makers use more Russian rocket engines to
compete for military satellite launches against privately held
SpaceX.

McCain’s comments reflect frustration among some lawmakers
about the Pentagon’s failure to halt purchases of the RD-180
Russian engines after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

May 13, 2015

U.S. Air Force to re-evaluate radar bids after Raytheon suit denied

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force on Wednesday said
it would re-evaluate bids received in a $1 billion long-range
radar competition after a federal court dismissed a Raytheon Co
lawsuit that sought to halt a fresh look at the bidders
of its losing rivals Northrop Grumman Corp and Lockheed
Martin Corp.

“The court’s ruling … frees us to continue moving toward
acquiring the much-needed new radar system. We will immediately
reenter source selection to reevaluate bids,” said Air Force
spokesman Justin Oakes.

May 13, 2015

Pentagon, U.S. spy chief urge use of more Russian rocket engines

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and the nation’s spy chief this week urged a key Senate committee to amend federal law to allow a joint venture of the two largest U.S. arms makers to use more Russian RD-180 rocket engines.

Carter and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper urged Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, in a letter dated May 11, to change the law so the Pentagon can retain “assured access to space”. This is a legal requirement that mandates availability of two satellite launch vehicles so the U.S. military can always get satellites into space, even if one of the rockets is grounded due to a catastrophic failure.

May 13, 2015

U.S. experts may travel to Gulf to look at expediting arms sales

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and its allies in the Gulf will discuss ways to expedite weapons sales during high-level meetings in Washington this week, followed by a likely trip to the region by a team of U.S. arms sales experts, U.S. and Gulf officials said on Tuesday.

Streamlining and accelerating sales of critical weapons will be a key topic during the summit, which is aimed at boosting security cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council members.

May 12, 2015

U.S. judge dismisses Raytheon suit to block review of rival radar bids

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Raytheon Co, freeing the U.S. Air Force to re-evaluate bids it got for a new long-range radar won by Raytheon but challenged by rivals Lockheed Martin Corp and Northrop Grumman Corp, Lockheed said in a statement.

The decision marks a setback for Raytheon, which hopes to hold onto the contract, which could be worth $1 billion, given the Air Force’s plan to buy 30 of the new systems in coming years.

May 12, 2015

Judge dismisses Raytheon suit to block review of rival radar bids

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge has dismissed a
lawsuit filed by Raytheon Co, freeing the U.S. Air Force
to re-evaluate bids it got for a new long-range radar won by
Raytheon but challenged by rivals Lockheed Martin Corp
and Northrop Grumman Corp, sources familiar with the
decision said.

Raytheon has 60 days to appeal the May 11 decision by a
judge with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, according to the
sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

May 11, 2015

Aerojet Rocketdyne, others look at keeping Atlas 5 rocket in use

WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters) – Aerojet Rocketdyne
and two other firms on Monday said they are exploring options
for obtaining the data rights to the Atlas 5 launch vehicle and
swapping out its Russian-built engine with the AR1 engine that
Aerojet Rocketdyne is developing.

The Pentagon is scrambling to comply with a new U.S. law
that bans use after 2019 of the Russian RD-180 rocket engine
that fuels the Atlas 5 rocket for launches of military and
intelligence satellites. Congress passed the law after Russia’s
annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine last year.

May 8, 2015

U.S. report details China’s work on anti-satellite weapons

WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) – China has the most rapidly
growing space program in the world, and continues to develop
lasers, satellite jammers and other weapons aimed at the
space-based assets of adversaries, a new U.S. report said on
Friday.

China has also built a “vast ground infrastructure” to
build, launch and control satellites, said the U.S. Defense
Department’s annual report to Congress on military and security
issues related to China.

May 7, 2015

Despite Kuwait deal, Boeing’s F/A-18 jet faces uphill global climb

WASHINGTON, May 7 (Reuters) – Boeing Co will struggle
to boost international sales of its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
fighter jets despite a $3-billion-plus deal expected soon with
Kuwait, analysts and industry executives said.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Kuwait is poised to
announce in coming weeks an order for 28 Super Hornets. On
Thursday, people familiar with the Kuwait deal said it also
includes options for up to 12 additional jets.